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Thursday newsletter time: Power Rangers show up in victory over Mariners

(Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports)

 

A look at the Rangers’ offensive inconsistencies early this season shows a lack of slug from a team that slugged as well as any other in 2023.

Slugging doesn’t mean strictly home runs. The Rangers have been short on extra-base hits.

They started catching up Wednesday night.

Adolis Garcia and Evan Carter jump-started the offense with back-to-back homers in the fourth inning, Carter added an RBI triple in the seventh and Wyatt Langford collected a hard-to-swallow double in a 5-1 victory over the Mariners.

The Rangers also smashed 11 balls with an exit velo of 100 mph, including a Garcia grounder at 99.9 that turned into a double play. Two were by Corey Seager, and though neither went for a hit, that’s a good sign assuming his bruised shin that forced him out of the game early isn’t anything significant.

Langford put a charge into his second-inning drive to the wall and was going to easily make third. However, something reached up and tripped him on his way to third and he was tagged out.

The numbers aren’t gruesome. The Rangers are tied for fifth in the league with 41 doubles and eighth in home runs with 24. That’s a low figure, though, with the likes of Garcia, Seager and Marcus Semien in the lineup.

As is the case with every trend this time of year, it’s too early to say that the Rangers’ offense is doomed. But as is the case with every trend, it’s worth watching.

Gray’s day

Jon Gray needed 31 pitches to get through the first inning, and that’s ultimately what led to manager Bruce Bochy pulling the plug on the right-hander in the fifth inning.

The good news is that Gray navigated his final 3 2/3 innings on 61 pitches, which is decent, and he allowed only one run to give the Rangers a chance. He keeps doing that, and that’s why he needs to stay in the rotation for now.

Cody Bradford has yet to throw a bullpen session as his back strain mends, so the rotation won’t be expanding Friday on the first day he’s eligible to be reinstated from the injured list. Another starter is two or three weeks away (more on that below).

Gray doesn’t want to be a reliever, though he might be his own worst enemy in that regard. He was terrific as a reliever in the World Series and dominant again last week in a surprise appearance at Atlanta.

When the Rangers have six and seven starters available to them, let alone eight or nine late in the season, a lot of dots connect Gray to the bullpen. If that’s where he ends up, he will be a huge asset that can log multiple high-leverage innings and possibly even close out some games.

 

Scherzer plan(s)

Right-hander Max Scherzer was OK on Wednesday night for Triple A Round Rock in his first rehab start, allowing three runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings. He threw 52 pitches, struck out four and didn’t walk anyone.

Don’t worry about the results. His outing was like an outing at spring training, where he was trying to get the feel for his pitches and continuing his buildup for the regular season.

He needs at least two more starts and possibly a third before becoming an option for the Rangers. The next start, he said, should be Tuesday for either Round Rock at Albuquerque or Double A Frisco at Corpus Christi.

Scherzer also has a plan for using automated balls and strikes in the majors. It will be an evaluation tool for umpires.

The umps’ union might never go for it, but it has merit in terms of weeding out the worst of the worst umpires.

Doggy video!

Oh, deer. Enjoy.

 

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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1 Comment

  1. deGrom Texas Ranger April 25, 2024

    I hope Seager doesn’t get hurt. He is the best player on the team currently.

    Reply

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